The only thing worse than watching members of Congress pass bills to spend trillions of dollars, attempt to strip Americans of their Second Amendment rights, raise spending caps, and resist the President’s agenda, is allowing them to do it from the comfort of their own homes without accountability or constituent access.
But that’s exactly what a new bill from Democratic Congressman Eric Swalwell would do.
The proposal would keep members out of D.C., away from cameras and the little accountability they have, and allow them to work from home.
The California Democrat was not the first to introduce the bill as it has made its way in and out of the chamber since 2013. But he is seizing on the Coronavirus outbreak to reintroduce it during this legislative session.
As the Washington Examiner reports, the bill “would allow members to attend hearings and cast votes online via teleconference rather than mandating that they attend in person.”
The Members Operating to Be Innovative and Link Everyone, or MOBILE, resolution would only allow remote votes for suspension bills, which require two-thirds approval and are typically not controversial. If it passed, members would not immediately be able to work remotely as the legislation also requires the creation of the secure software that would be used for the mobile votes.
“Modern technology belongs in Congress, and my resolution would allow members to not only spend more time with their constituents and their families but would prove useful for a number of situations, including the public health crisis in which we currently find ourselves,” Swalwell told Axios.
Congressman Rick Crawford, a Republican, is backing the measure and said: “The ability for members of Congress to vote remotely if need be has been technologically feasible for decades.”
He also directly cited the ongoing outbreak as a reason for supporting it.
“The ongoing coronavirus outbreak underscores the need for Congress to embrace what the 21st century has to offer,” he continued, noting “the ability to vote remotely if needed is long overdue. It’s time for Congress to join the modern century.”
— Rep Rick Crawford (@RepRickCrawford) March 9, 2020
“Work-from-home policies have been implemented by several major businesses, including Amazon’s corporate offices. New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio also urged the entire city to try to work from home if possible, and several newspapers told staff who went to the Conservative Political Action Conference, which an infected person attended, to work remotely,” the Washington Examiner adds.Note: The author of this article has included commentary that expresses an opinion and analysis of the facts.